A delegation of top Federation leadership from around North America are meeting today and tomorrow in Washington D.C. to discuss U.S. relations with Israel, Iran and other key issues affecting the Jewish communities at large. The group of more than 30 will talk to congressional leadership and several members of the Obama administration.
Representing Los Angeles will be The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles Chairman Richard Sandler and President Jay Sanderson.
Jewish Federation movement leaders from across the United States will convene in Washington, D.C. this week to meet with Administration and senior Congressional officials including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Republican Whip Eric Cantor, on Israel, Iran and other key issues vital to the Jewish community.
The delegation to Washington includes more than 30 prominent Federation leaders. Participants will share their thoughts on key policy issues developed from numerous discussions within their communities.
The Jewish Federations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Jersey (MetroWest and Northern NJ,) New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, South Florida and Washington, D.C. are expected to attend. Representatives of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) will also participate.
According to Israeli news reports, The Jewish Federation mission to Washington will occur just prior to a planned White House meeting between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected to meet with President Obama next week, following a visit to Canada this weekend.
“This week’s series of meetings is an opportunity for us to share a perspective that we believe represents the Federation communities and to listen to what the Administration has to say about these important issues,” said Kathy Manning, chair of the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America.
“We look forward to an open and frank exchange of views on the U.S.-Israel relationship, the peace process, and on efforts to ensure that Iran is prevented from attaining a nuclear capacity,” said William C. Daroff, vice president for public policy and director of The Jewish Federations of North America’s Washington office.
Plans for the delegation’s visit were put in place after media reports of increased tensions between the United States, Israel and the broader Jewish community following Vice President Joe Biden’s trip to the Middle East earlier this year and reports of tense meetings between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Meetings this week are scheduled at the White House with the Honorable George Mitchell, Special Envoy for the Middle East; Ambassador Dennis Ross, Special Assistant to the President; Daniel Shapiro, Senior Director for Middle East & North Africa, Office of the National Security Council; Susan Sher, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady; and Danielle Borrin, Associate Director, Office of Public Engagement.
The delegation will also meet at the U.S. Capitol Building with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD); House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA); Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, Howard Berman (D-CA); House Republican Conference Chair, Mike Pence (R-IN); Democratic Chief Deputy Whip, Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL); and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL).
The delegation meetings, which are closed to press, are scheduled for today and tomorrow.